Do use sunscreen? - Mothering Forums
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Family Safety > Do use sunscreen?
RStelle's Avatar RStelle 12:59 PM 03-13-2012

I've always been super paranoid about sun exposure, but at the same time I hate the idea of covering my babies skin with chemicals, is that really any better for her than sun exposure? Last summer she always had a hat on & we stayed out of the sun from 10-4:00 or so, usually we went for a walk in the woods so we could be outside but not in the sun, but I can't do that every day with a 1 year old, and I want to take her outside every day. What does everyone else do? If you do use sunscreen, what brands/kinds do you use?



chel's Avatar chel 01:11 PM 03-13-2012
I use lots of sunscreen, but I pick for what I like the feel of on me.
That being said I go more for covering with clothes and hats. The baby has a sunsuit swimsuit covers her from wrist to ankles plus a hat. Dd1 and I wear a rash guard shirt that covers at least elbow , ideally wrist.
I also don't have the girls wear sleeveless outfits. No tank tops, etc.
DahliaRW's Avatar DahliaRW 01:30 PM 03-13-2012

We try to avoid it when we can, but if we're going to be out in the sun for a while we use it.  We all burn very easily!  That being said, We use Loving Naturals which is rated as being a 1 on the Environmental Working Group's Database, on a scale of 0-10 where 10 is the worst. 


Adaline'sMama's Avatar Adaline'sMama 02:44 PM 03-13-2012
Yep. We are all really fair skinned and spend a lot of time outside. Last summer I even got so lazy I used the spray on kind.
RStelle's Avatar RStelle 09:11 AM 03-16-2012

Thanks! I forgot about the sun suit, I just ordered one. Also I will check out Loving Naturals and that database.


Norabella's Avatar Norabella 04:42 PM 03-16-2012

If I have to use sunscreen I use Badger company products http://www.badgerbalm.com/c-6-sun-care.aspx they also get good ratings on the safety database mentioned in a PP, and my mom owns a natural food store, did a *ton* of research in deciding what to carry and has a good opinion of the company.

 

In general though, I really think that Vit D deficiency is actually much more of a health concern than sun exposure and blocking sun with cloth or products blocks Vit. D too. So we tend to make sure our skin is well-moisturized, (coconut oil) and that our sun exposure is gradual and increases over days/weeks which pretty much happens naturally in the spring time as it warms up and we start spending more time outside.

 


littlest birds's Avatar littlest birds 05:15 PM 03-16-2012

Our family is fairly fair-skinned (two redheads) and we mostly manage to minimize exposure instead of use sunscreen.  I really hate sunscreen for a number of reasons but I will use it in a pinch.  Dh wore it a lot working full days in landscape work for years but no longer needs to as he is doing different work.

 

For me midday summer sun is too intense for my eyes and I dislike the heat so sunscreen doesn't change that.  We don't usually do outdoor time during midday hours.  We don't go to the pool much and we usually go after 4PM.  We wear hats.  We seek shade, we come in/ call kids in if they've been in the direct sun after an hour or so.  If a planned activity will keep them in the sun, we definitely use the sunscreen and even mainstream brands are okay with me since it is not too often and they are big kids now.

 

When the kids were babies I used sunscreen more often.  I would just be selective and still be careful about sun exposure.  I personally don't think sunscreen gives complete protection from damage even when it stops burns, and I'm also pretty suspicious about the chemicals when it's frequent to constant use.  I'd say choose a natural brand and use it when you need to so that you can be comfortable with your schedule and activities, but still try to keep it minimal via other choices.


MeredithA's Avatar MeredithA 05:29 PM 03-16-2012

There is actually a paraben free, paba free, not chemical based, sunscreen on babyhalfoff.com today! It's called Livestrong but it seems that it used to be called ThinkBaby. I haven't tried it yet but I have been looking for a more natural sunscreen and I think I might order it. 


SweetSilver's Avatar SweetSilver 08:01 PM 03-16-2012

No sunscreen.  It's nice to have for those days when you want to spend all day at the beach or pool or something, but I haven't put any on my girls in years.  I wear hats and long sleeves, limit exposure etc.


LynnS6's Avatar LynnS6 09:29 PM 03-16-2012

Yes. We have very northern European skin. Skin cancer is pretty common in our families. The risk of skin cancer outweighs the chemical risk. Dd also has very sensitive skin, and there are only about 2 that she can use. She needs ones with physical barriers like zinc oxide rather than the chemical ones or she breaks out. Badger makes a nice all natural one.


Honey693's Avatar Honey693 09:40 PM 03-16-2012

We use tons of it.   Everyone gets slathered in SPF 50 before we go out.  The potential risks from the sunscreen aren't anywhere as scary to me as the very proven real risk of skin cancer.


lifeguard's Avatar lifeguard 11:14 PM 03-16-2012

Ds has my skin tone (thank goodness) & therefore really doesn't burn. I keep us covered as much as possible & don't really enjoy being in the intense sun anyway. When we are going to be out (mostly in a beach setting) I do use sunscreen on him. I've been using Green Beaver (a Canadian company) & it is ok. Quite frankly I've never tried a sunscreen that didn't feel absolutely awful on my skin.

 

Dd looks like she'll have more dh's skin tone so I suspect we will have to become more careful.

 

On one hand I know sun exposure is damaging but on the other I do feel that slathering on the sunscreen thickly every single day for any amount of exposure is not healthy either. I have a friend that literally goes through litres of sunscreen in the summer - it just seems like too much to me, but we all have to weigh the risks for our own family.


mamazee's Avatar mamazee 05:42 AM 03-17-2012
I don't have my kids in sunscreen constantly when they're outside. The older one is darker and only needs it on very sunny days right at the peak sun time. The younger one is fairer and needs more, but I still like to have her get plenty of sunshine on her skin. Here's an article that got me thinking about this: http://gizmodo.com/5823058/tanning-can-cause-cancer-but-not-tanning-could-cause-a-lot-worse We are the first cave people - the first people who aren't exposed to lots of sun. So I think it is important to not let the skin get burnt or too tan, as that is also damage, but on the other hand I think it's also important that we be outside without sun block as much as we're able to. Balance.
Mittsy's Avatar Mittsy 10:08 AM 03-17-2012

We almost never use sunscreen here. We only use it when we're going swimming, or will be around water most of the day. DD and DH both have a light olive skin tone that almost never burns(or even browns that much), and DS and I have a slightly fairer skin tone but don't burn very often at all.


crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 07:44 PM 03-18-2012
We use Badger when we need something. It is one of the few brands I feel comfortable putting on DS (some supposedly 'natural' sunscreens like Blue Lizard etc. have some weird stuff in them...) Aside from the zinc oxide, Badger just has oils & beeswax.

Most of the time we don't use sunscreen, I think lots of sun is healthy & lack of sun leads to vitamin D deficiency and other related issues.

During the hottest part of the day during the peak of summer, we wear hats & long sleeves, or have indoor time. We still get tons of outdoor time in early morning and all late afternoon/evening. I can't tolerate the heat well when it gets above 90F, so it's not just about the sun at that point.

Sunscreen is basically for when we spend the whole day at the beach, or a few other places that have absolutely no shade. I also dress DS in a long-sleeve t-shirt and long swim shorts at the beach (rash guards are too costly for us and long cotton T's work just fine!) plus a baseball cap, so the sunscreen really is just for a few small exposed areas, and we always bring a beach umbrella too.
DoubleDouble's Avatar DoubleDouble 10:20 AM 03-19-2012

I was just starting to research the baby sunscreens, this thread is very timely! I have very pale Nordic skin and I'm very sensitive - the Moon can probably give me a sunburn. smile.gif If the babies get my skin type, I'll have to be extra-vigilant.

 

How oily are those Badger, Loving Naturals sunscreens? I hate the oily feeling - is there such a thing as a non-oily, safe sunscreen?

 

PS. Darker skin tone is no guarantee of safety - here is an article from BBC: Dark skin 'does not block cancer.'  "Contrary to common perception, people with dark skin are more likely to die from skin cancer than those with fairer skin, warn US researchers."


DahliaRW's Avatar DahliaRW 11:55 AM 03-19-2012

They reformulated LNs a year or two ago and it's much less oily.  I find a tiny bit goes a long ways.  My dh usually uses too much and says it's oily, but that's because he's put too much on to rub into his skin!

 


SweetSilver's Avatar SweetSilver 12:53 PM 03-19-2012


Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDouble View Post

I was just starting to research the baby sunscreens, this thread is very timely! I have very pale Nordic skin and I'm very sensitive - the Moon can probably give me a sunburn. smile.gif If the babies get my skin type, I'll have to be extra-vigilant.

 

 

You'll want to add to your research the debate on micronized zinc.  This is a physical barrier ingredient used in even the "natural" sunscreens.  The only sunscreen I could find that my daughter could tolerate on her sensitive skin used this ingredient as the main blocker.  

 

Not being satisfied with any sunscreen we have come across so far, we will continue covering up and limiting exposure.  Luckily our cool northern beaches make it easy to cover up from head to toe and still feel comfortable.  And there is no way we are swimming in our stretch of the ocean, so crazy with riptides.   No, the real trouble comes at the poolside.  I like the new swim shirts that cover up shoulders, as that area seems to be the most prone to over-exposure.  

 


mamazee's Avatar mamazee 01:22 PM 03-19-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDouble View Post

I was just starting to research the baby sunscreens, this thread is very timely! I have very pale Nordic skin and I'm very sensitive - the Moon can probably give me a sunburn. smile.gif If the babies get my skin type, I'll have to be extra-vigilant.

 

How oily are those Badger, Loving Naturals sunscreens? I hate the oily feeling - is there such a thing as a non-oily, safe sunscreen?

 

PS. Darker skin tone is no guarantee of safety - here is an article from BBC: Dark skin 'does not block cancer.'  "Contrary to common perception, people with dark skin are more likely to die from skin cancer than those with fairer skin, warn US researchers."


OK so this confused me because I thought it was contrary to everything I know, but I read and it it isn't contrary at all. It says that it's much less common for people with darker skin to get skin cancer, and therefore it isn't diagnosed as early, so it's more likely to lead to death. So no, having darker skin isn't a guarantee, but it does mean you're less likely to get skin cancer. But regardless of how likely you are to get it and whether you've used sun block or not, if you see a mole change in any way, you need to get it checked out.
rebeleducation's Avatar rebeleducation 07:30 AM 03-23-2012

Used to use it, dp convinced me not to. He's trying to get us completely chem-product-free.

 

So I try to keep us out of the sun from 11am-1pm.

We wear hats outside always.

When we go swimming, we set up in a shady spot,

and only lay in the sun for a few minutes to dry off and warm up.

For building sand-castles or other under-the-sun play, long-sleeved linen shirts.

 

I'm pretty sure these are the kinds of things we used to do before there were sun protecting creams.

 

The idea of chemicals heating up on my skin freaks me out.


MacKinnon's Avatar MacKinnon 08:00 AM 03-23-2012
Yes we do! We slather them all up smile.gif We're cautious about what we use because DD has very sensitive skin. She also has a darker complexion and doesn't burn (or hasn't). But DS is very fair and has burned before despite my best efforts to educate MIL about the need to keep reapply when they're in the water.
DoubleDouble's Avatar DoubleDouble 08:21 AM 03-23-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

OK so this confused me because I thought it was contrary to everything I know, but I read and it it isn't contrary at all. It says that it's much less common for people with darker skin to get skin cancer, and therefore it isn't diagnosed as early, so it's more likely to lead to death. So no, having darker skin isn't a guarantee, but it does mean you're less likely to get skin cancer. But regardless of how likely you are to get it and whether you've used sun block or not, if you see a mole change in any way, you need to get it checked out.

 

The thing is, "darker skin" is subjective. I know a person who lived in Florida most of their life and never used sunscreen (with the exception of the whole day on the beach.) Caucasian White, with Northern Italian / South of France ancestry, dark brown hair. The makeup foundation color to match the skin color in winter - "Nude" or "Honey-Medium". The reasoning was "But I'm not pale and I tan without problems!"

 

To me, "European & White" means "use sunscreen." For some other people, it's the opposite - "Jersey Shore needs a bit more tan". So in my opinion, that's one of the reasons for "more cancer in darker skin."


MrsGregory's Avatar MrsGregory 09:28 AM 03-23-2012

Daughter and I are the people that folks who used to describe themselves as pale stand next to and then start describing themselves as fair-to-medium.  ROTFLMAO.gif

 

I used sunscreen, even in the winter.  I let my legs get sun any time it won't be "all day" or at the peak of the sun to meet my vitamin D needs.  Considering that I am a cold-by-nature person my legs are covered about 75% of the year, so I figure they're OK without sunscreen.  I sometimes forget my wrists and hands so I get vitamin D (and age spots!) there too.  Otherwise it's a minimum of SPF15 - even in December.  Even if it's cloudy.  In the summer I will add a scarf to cover my decolletage and a hat for my face.

Right now daughter just turned 6 months today, so I have not even thought about sunscreen.  When she's outside she's under a shade (or in the shade) and she is getting her vitamin D through me and I do let her legs and feet catch 5-10 minutes of winter sun.  When she starts needing sunscreen all over (a few months still, she's not mobile yet) she'll get as natural as I can manage and a hat, and light layers to cover her skin, and we'll carry our shade with us if we're going to be outside all day.

 

Edited to add a word or three that make the sentence a sentence. 


DoubleDouble's Avatar DoubleDouble 09:52 AM 03-23-2012


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsGregory View Post

Daughter and I are the people that folks who used to describe themselves as pale stand next to and then start describing themselves as fair-to-medium.  ROTFLMAO.gif

 

Do all your group photographs look like "a bunch of people and a ghost"? Mine do! smile.gif


MrsGregory's Avatar MrsGregory 11:02 AM 03-23-2012

Well, I have freckles, so that counts as a skin color, right?  biglaugh.gif


mamazee's Avatar mamazee 11:14 AM 03-23-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDouble View Post

 

The thing is, "darker skin" is subjective. I know a person who lived in Florida most of their life and never used sunscreen (with the exception of the whole day on the beach.) Caucasian White, with Northern Italian / South of France ancestry, dark brown hair. The makeup foundation color to match the skin color in winter - "Nude" or "Honey-Medium". The reasoning was "But I'm not pale and I tan without problems!"

 

To me, "European & White" means "use sunscreen." For some other people, it's the opposite - "Jersey Shore needs a bit more tan". So in my opinion, that's one of the reasons for "more cancer in darker skin."


Again, it didn't say that there's more cancer in darker skin. It said there is less cancer in darker skin. Just that when there is cancer in darker skin, it isn't found as quickly, because people aren't as likely to be watching for it.

And my daughter is european and white, but doesn't seem to burn. She only has sunblock during the worst of the day.
vermontgirl's Avatar vermontgirl 04:48 PM 03-27-2012


Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey693 View Post

The potential risks from the sunscreen aren't anywhere as scary to me as the very proven real risk of skin cancer.



I have to say, I agree with you Honey693.  On this one, we have to go with the one thing we do know is true.

 

That being said, I only put it on when needed. We spend hours in the sun without sunscreen and it is fine because it is mostly during not direct sun times...also we don't burn easily. I feel that some sun exposure is REALLY good for you but too much is really bad. If we are at the beach all day, we use big floppy hats, sun suits and a little sunscreen. If our shoulders and cheeks feel warm, we apply it.

 

 

 

 


earthgirl's Avatar earthgirl 12:01 PM 03-28-2012

We're sunscreen users, but I tend to start using it pretty late in the season, at least compared to what most people around her do. I cannot make myself stay inside during the summer and I also cannot stand to have on too many clothes. So sunscreen it is. And I agree that the idea of having skin cancer is way scarier to me. I know someone that died from skin cancer so that has always stuck with me. Oh, and we use Badger, too. I tried Loving Naturals and HATED it. It was so oily. I haven't tried the new formula, but I'm probably not going to. Badger gets the job done just fine.


crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 12:42 PM 03-28-2012
Just to clarify, I don't think any of us who say we generally avoid sunscreen are suggesting to just go ahead & burn! I don't think most of us are disputing the risk of skin cancer. I just don't think the sun is so dangerous that we can't allow it to even hit our skin. We just take other measures to protect ourselves during peak hours. I don't believe it is healthy to wear sunscreen 24/7 for people who live in my area (north US) -- there are really only a few hours a day during the summer where the sun is a real danger. Maybe in other climates it's more necessary to have it just walking out of the house for a few minutes, but not here.
SweetSilver's Avatar SweetSilver 05:58 PM 03-28-2012


Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Just to clarify, I don't think any of us who say we generally avoid sunscreen are suggesting to just go ahead & burn! I don't think most of us are disputing the risk of skin cancer. 


No, it isn't an either/or choice, is it?  

 

It's not an issue here or there with me with what others choose to do, so I don't mention it to create friction, but I am surprised there aren't more folks responding who choose not to put chemicals on hot skin.  Especially when I see threads on avoiding chemicals in shampoos and other cosmetics.  Just not the balance I expected.

 


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